INDIANAPOLIS – IMPD Chief Randal Taylor announced one of his officers is facing termination and criminal charges in connection with a use of force investigation.
Sgt. Eric Huxley faces a felony count of battery and a felony count of official misconduct, according to court documents. He’s accused of stomping on a man’s head during an arrest. He has been suspended without pay.
The charges stem from a Sept. 24, 2021, incident in which Huxley and two other officers arrested Jermaine Vaughn on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement on Monument Circle.
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The officers said they could hear Vaughn “screaming from the south spoke of the monument” and ordered him to quiet down. He was then placed under arrest. The officers said Vaughn “became agitated” during the arrest.
One of the officers forced Vaughn onto the ground and maintained he was being uncooperative. Shortly after Vaughn is on the ground, video shows Huxley driving his left foot into Vaughn’s face.
“Within seconds, blood is visible in Vaughn’s mouth,” according to court documents.
“You’re done. You’re done. You’re done,” an officer is heard saying in the video.
On one of the body cameras, Huxley can be heard saying, “I accidently kicked him in his face. I was attempting to put my foot on his shoulder and I accidently kicked him in his face,” according to court documents.
All three officers were wearing body cameras; IMPD didn’t show footage from Huxley’s body camera, saying it didn’t have the right angle to capture the stomp.
The two officers who witnessed the incident have been reassigned to administrative duty. Vaughn did not require medical treatment and was interviewed by detectives.
“There’s no excuse for it. I promised this community and I promised our officers that I would be transparent,” Taylor said during a news conference Tuesday. “That’s in good times and bad times. This is a bad time.”
Taylor has recommended Huxley’s firing.
Mayor Joe Hogsett released a statement about the video:
“The footage released today by IMPD is deeply troubling, depicting acts that are unacceptable from law enforcement in our city. I commend Chief Taylor’s prompt response, as well as the department’s continued commitment to transparency as they seek appropriate accountability for the officer involved. This incident underscores the importance of continuing to build community trust, and reinforces our resolve to maintain investments in the reforms, training, and technology that ensure accountability to the high standards of conduct expected by Indianapolis residents.”
Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili issued a statement:
As a member of this community, I condemn the actions of Sgt. Huxley seen on this video and offer my sympathies to Mr. Vaughn. As a member of the Council, I want to thank Chief Taylor for working collaboratively with the Council on increasing transparency, including through implementation of the body-worn cameras that captured this horrendous action. I am committed to working with IMPD leadership in the coming year to establish the early warning system funded this summer to detect and root out such problematic behavior.
Indianapolis City-County Council Public Safety Committee Chair Leroy Robinson also released a statement:
“It is with great sadness that we all witnessed the IMPD body worn camera footage of the incident involving one of our homeless neighbors. We are thankful that the gentlemen is recovering well from his injuries and equally thankful for the swift response from our Chief of Police and our Marion County Prosecutor. The Council’s investment in body worn cameras is quickly providing the much needed transparency that our community has been pushing for.”
The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police released the following statement:
“We too are troubled by the images within this video. We welcome a full and forthright review of the related facts involved. While the camera’s perspective is only one of many…it is an important perspective nonetheless. Gathering such factors is one of several reasons our organization was the first to call for such a body worn camera system to be implemented within the IMPD. Now that we know such a review is underway, we will continue to monitor this matter and await its final determinations.”